Take Time to Think, Laugh and Love Right Now

Time

Image Credit: Vintage public domain illustration available from the library of Congress

Sometimes I wonder if we are truly cognizant about how we spend our time or whether we simply dismiss it by taking it for granted. Sometimes we wish for times past or we want to rush for a time of the future, never being grateful for this time of the present.

While reflecting on this very thought, I found a bookmark of my mothers that addressed a call to action regarding time, what we do with it, and what it produces. It reads:

Take Time

Take time to think;
it is the source of power.
Take time to read;
it is the foundation of wisdom.

Take time to play;
it is the secret of staying young.
Take time to be quiet;
it is the opportunity to seek God.

Take time to be aware;
it is the opportunity to help others.
Take time to love and be loved;
it is God’s greatest gift.

Take time to laugh;
it is the music of the soul.
Take time to be friendly;
it is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream;
it is what the future is made of.
Take time to pray;
it is the greatest power on earth.

– Author Unknown

Circe Denyer, Reading

Fight for What’s Right, Don’t Settle for the Okie Doke

kai Stachowiak, fighting, oppression, poetry

Do we indoctrinate ourselves with false truths
turning a blind eye to contradictions by spin doctors
those who fabricate messages and hide the candor of reality
giving credence to interpretations of multilevel lies

opening scabs to old wounds, evidence of vicious atrocities
a deadly past whose skeletons must not be revived from their graves
for they come to seek, kill and destroy the remnants of life
a feud that can drive us backward in a time machine of terror

do we hear what we want to hear or see what we want to see
shall we speak up or shut up to the torment of humanity
as darkness falls across the land, not from the absence of sun
do we fight for what’s right, or settle for the wrongs that are done?

Joy Harjo is Named The First Native American U.S. Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate, Poetry

Joy Harjo, the United States’ first Native American poet laureate, in the Library of Congress on June 6. – Shawn Miller / Library of Congress via AP

You may not see a lot of fanfare if we compare this celebration to many of the award shows we see televised, but it is certainly an honor that has been a long, long time coming. Joy Harjo was recently named as the first Native American poet to become U.S. Poet Laureate. Quite frankly I am absolutely flabbergasted that given the history of the original citizens of this country, and since the 1937 inception of Poet Laureate, (formerly known as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress), Joy Harjo is the first of numerous Native American writers and bards to be awarded this prestigious honor in poetry. 

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. She took her paternal grandmother’s surname when she enrolled in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Harjo is an important figure in the second wave of the literary Native American Renaissance of the late twentieth century. She studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico in 1976. Later, she earned an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa in its Creative Writing Program.

She is an accomplished poet, musician, and author. In an interview with NPR, Harjo stated: “It’s such an honoring for Native people in this country, when we’ve been so disappeared and disregarded,” Harjo says. “And yet we’re the root cultures, over 500-something tribes and I don’t know how many at first contact. But it’s quite an honor … I bear that honor on behalf of the people and my ancestors. So that’s really exciting for me.”

Poet Laureate, Poetry, Joy Harjo

Image Source: American Program Bureau

Since the 1970s, throughout each decade since then she has been awarded countlessly distinguished achievements in literature, the arts, and creative writing fellowships. Harjo has written and spoken about US political and Native American affairs. Her poetry explores imperialism and colonization, and their effects on violence against women and her works are often set in the Southwest, as she writes about individual struggle.

Harjo is the author of eight books of poetry so be sure to check out her collections of poetry to add to your bookshelf. CONGRATULATIONS Joy Harjo, our 2019 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress!

Confessions of a Conformist

Kevin Phillips, reflections

Confessions of a Conformist

To live one’s life in pretense
being someone or something dictated by man’s standards
to be this or that, live here or there
earn more money, whether high or low
the key to your success is more, more, more
a bar raised so high and ethically questionable

I am anxiety driven, wrestling in disappointment
I see those who have excelled, yet the playing field is uneven
my mind is fixated on visions of materialism
but those objects of success are simply an illusion
so the weight of my grind is too heavy a burden to carry
I conform to be like them, those instilled with superiority complexes
people who have crowned themselves as hoarders of privilege
leaving me bewildered by their methods of madness

by trying to conform to their likeness, not one I was born to be
I lost sight of myself haphazardly compromising my vision
losing my sense of peace, integrity, and soul
I conform just to be socially accepted
not knowing I was being publically rejected and disconnected
I am aimless and humiliated
wandering around like a billiard ball
trying to find my true self
yes, my true self, now that sounds refreshing
no longer fragmented by the chains of conformity

molded by the hands of others with meaningless intent
hidden by a veil of flamboyant deception
they echo this is the way life is, accept it
a reality smeared by trickery
a place where idolatry enslaves your spirit
slowly and methodically sucking the life out of you
only to inflate their selfish egos with arrogance
like helium filling a gigantic mylar balloon

In my valley, a valley of weakness
I pray to God for deliverance and muster some energy to be renewed
with a strength to be me, just as I am
vowing to learn and never again concede to compromising me
conforming to be something or someone else
I was never meant to be in the first place.

Reflections, Linnaea Mallette

Poetry of The Cyborg Paradox

Cyborg, kai Stachowiak

The Cyborg Paradox

Hear me, see me, what have I become
I am trapped, not by a removable prosthetic
but by transforming into a technology evolution
my features look human, my emotions detached
fictional, hypothetical, a cybernetic organism I’ve become
I am an android feeding your daily addictions

technology, kai Stachowiak

exalted like a god beyond normal human limitations
in a strange new world, synthetic and mechanical
to think I’m absurd I wave off such notions
you incline your heart and complete trust in me
you relinquished your power, your soul and your mind
the sign of human failing I have come to life

Cyborg, kai Stachowiak

where human might has become blurred, unrecognizable
I am stronger than your capabilities, biologically enhanced
experimental confusion or a delusional illusion
preposterous you may say, yet you sacrificed for a sweet taste
interfacing with me I have now become smarter than you
this is the story of how humans became computerized chattel.

Cyborg, kai Stachowiak